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Science Based Targets initiative: what is it and how are we getting there?

At Churchill, we are committed to decreasing our carbon emissions throughout our operations, and to becoming a net-zero business by 2040. We have recently made a key step in our journey to net zero by submitting science-based carbon reduction targets to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). These targets define our net zero commitment at Churchill and outline the steps we need to take as a business over the next 10 years.

What is a science-based target?

The SBTi is a global initiative that provides companies with a clearly-defined pathway for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, helping to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Targets are considered ‘science-based’ because they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement; pursuing efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

In recent months, we have been working with a team of consultants to help draft our targets and set realistic milestones while still challenging ourselves to make impactful changes sooner rather than later. Submitting our targets for validation by the SBTi is a huge step for the business. It will be a little while until we hear back from the initiative, but the work to achieve our targets begins now.

What are Churchill’s science-based targets?

The following near-term science-based emission reduction targets have been submitted to the SBTi for validation:

  • For Scopes 1 & 2 (direct emissions & energy) we have submitted the following target:
    • Churchill Group commits to reduce absolute Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions by 43% by 2032FY from a 2022FY base year.
  • For Scope 3 (all indirect emissions) we have submitted the following target:
    • Churchill Group commits that 67% of its suppliers by emissions covering purchased goods and services, capital goods, and upstream transport and distribution, will have science-based targets by 2028.

 How do we plan to meet our targets?

Churchill has committed to being net zero by 2040. This means that all our emissions, both direct and indirect, will have to be reduced to zero. In following the SBTi framework for achieving net zero, the focus must be on emission reduction rather than offsetting. We intend to limit carbon offsetting to no more than 10 per cent.

Over the next year, we will be kicking off some key projects to begin our work towards these targets. One of these projects is the electrification of our vehicle fleet. We are working with our fleet provider to move away from petrol and diesel and fully electrify our vehicles. To meet our targets, we aim to have converted over half of our company-owned fleet to electric vehicles by 2032.

In addition, we will be working closely with our supply chain. Churchill already works closely with its suppliers across the business, and we will continue to do this to understand where they are in their net zero journey and to support them in the creation of their own science-based targets.

It is an exciting time in the business as we work towards a greener future. We are looking forward to obtaining validation of our science-based targets, and to the challenges ahead as we continue along our pathway to net zero.